The New York Knicks traded for OG Anunoby expecting to strengthen their defense and it has considerably, but he is not the only contributor that has helped take it to new heights over their last 11 games.
Knicks’ Defense By The Numbers
CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin contextualized the Knicks’ activity on the glass and how their defensive discipline as a unit is helping them in more ways than one:
“New York is rebounding a league-best 73.9% of its opponents’ misses this season — which leaves room for just 12.2 second-chance points per game, the second-lowest mark in the league. They commit the fifth fewest fouls per game,” Botkin said.
The Knicks keeping teams off of the free-throw line has gone a long way, considering the Knicks allowed 23.7 attempts last season, which ranked No. 13 in the league and also had the eighth-worst free-throw percentage differential at two percent. This year, they are one of 13 teams with a positive differential (1.2 percent), translating in their win differentials.
The Knicks Are Putting Their Bricks in Defensively as High Scoring East Rivals Present Looming Postseason Threat
Beyond that, the Knicks have maintained a strong perimeter and interior defense while making up for Mitchell Robinson’s absence on the boards. Isaiah Hartenstein has put up multiple games with double-digit rebounds.
The Knicks boast a championship-level defense that will fare well against a field of Eastern Conference contenders that make up four of the five highest-scoring teams in the league, be it the Indiana Pacers (No. 1), Milwaukee Bucks (No. 2), Boston Celtics (No. 4) and Philadelphia 76ers (No. 5).
Come playoff time, they’ll need their offense to rise to the occasion and match their defensive excellence if they want to advance beyond the conference semifinals.
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